Papua Assembly Urges Open Probe of Freeport Mine Shootings

The Papuan People's Assembly, a body representing the cultural and social
rights of Papuans, on Friday urged the police to find those responsible
for a recent series of armed attacks at the massive Freeport gold and
copper mine in Timika.

Frans Wosprakrik, the deputy chief of the assembly, also known as the MRP,
asked that the culprits be found quickly, and pledged that the assembly
would support the investigation as long as it was open and fair. He also
said that calls demanding the closure of PT Freeport Indonesia's mining
operations there by some communities and nongovernmental organizations
were unwarranted.

"We can look at the problem and find the solutions to it," Wosprakrik
said. "It might be that people's rights were neglected, which needs to be

He said those behind the Timika shootings likely had grievances against
the mining company's operations in the area, speculating that the attacks
were carried out by people who felt personally disgruntled by Freeport.

"If there is dissatisfaction, it must be revealed, solved and ended," he

Bery Nahdian Forqan, the executive director of leading environmental
watchdog Walhi, is among those calling on Freeport to end its activities
in Papua. He has argued that unless this was done, the level of violence
would continue to increase.

"The best way to solve the problem is to stop the source of the problem,
which is Freeport," he said.

Rights group Imparsial said in a press release that the attacks in Timika
had to have been planned and conducted by trained assailants, with
experience in handling weapons and the expertise to evade tight security.

Arkilaus Arnesius Baho, the chairman of the National League for the
Struggle of the People of West Papua, said that the primary motivation
behind the violence in Timika was likely the perceived injustice among
ethnic Papuans surrounding the exploitation of the province's natural

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